Holidays are upon us. Are you planning to serve dishes for all or part of your holiday meal with ingredients grown in Whatcom County? I’d like to give you some good reasons to do so:
1. Local food tastes better. When food doesn’t have to be shipped and stored for weeks or months after harvest, farmers can select varieties based on taste rather than varieties that ship well. That also means more varieties will be available locally from which you can choose.
2. You’ll be supporting the local economy. Studies have consistently shown that a much bigger percentage of money spent on food from local farms stays circulating in our own community, as opposed to food purchased from national chain markets and grown on factory farms.
3. Eating local food supports local family farmers. These folks are doing an incredible job of providing healthy, beautiful food to nurture us and our families. You can help make it financially feasible for them to continue farming by purchasing their food products.
4. Do you like a clean environment? Local family farms are more likely to be practicing sustainable methods of food production. If you’re not sure about the techniques they use, they’re local–just ask them.
5. Local food is fresher and more nutritious. Most food nutritive qualities decline with time after harvest. When you purchase local food in season, it often has been picked within a day or two of the time you eat it.
6. If you enjoy the rural beauty of Whatcom County, buy local food. Every year prime farmland is lost to housing and other commercial developments. Help keep Whatcom County rural and protect our environment and quality of life.
7. Local food is safer–it’s the real “homeland security.” We recently saw a situation where people from many parts of the country died because of the unsanitary food production practices of one man. If you know your farmers and you can see how they grow their food, these kinds of problems are far less likely to happen.
8. Best of all, eating local food is fun! Since I began eating local food, I’ve met some wonderful people and accumulated some enjoyable experiences which have enriched the lives of myself and my famly in ways that extend far beyond the dinner table. It continues to enhance my sense of community and place.
9. Holidays are about celebrating the bounty of the harvest with family and friends. What better way to give thanks than to support the people who produce our local bounty?
This week’s menu is a one-pot meal: